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Thousands gather at high altitude for world's largest alphorn festival

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 01:12

More than 3,000 people gather at an altitude of 2,200 meters in Switzerland for the world's largest alphorn festival. Roselle Chen reports.

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The hills were alive with the sound of music, as 3,500 people braved the heights of Switzerland's Mount Tracouet ( tra co wey ) to watch 150 alphorn players take part in the 13th World Alphorn Festival. The wooden alphorn was originally used by shepherds to gather herds in the mountains. Today, Switzerland has around 4,000 alphorn players. For one French alphorn player, Jean-Marie Cidler, the instrument is a symbol for romance. SOUNDBITE: Jean-Marie Cidler, alphorn player, saying (French): "It's a love story. I now only listen to alphorn music while I am in my car. I only listen to this music. And it's the same with Apensen's yodeler. I cried the first time I heard it...It evokes the mountain, it evokes a certain sensitivity." Cidler has been coming to the festival for nine years, having bought his first alphorn in 2005. The festival provides a tourism boost for the small city of Nendaz, which manages to attract thousands to celebrate the alphorn and other folk traditions.

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Thousands gather at high altitude for world's largest alphorn festival

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 01:12